PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC- Lion hearted pacer, Tino Best, is backing new captain Dwayne Smith to lead Barbados to title honours in the Caribbean T20 tournament which gets underway here tomorrow.
Best is confident that Smith, who has played T20 at the highest level, would use his experience as an all-rounder to steer the Bajans to a title that has eluded them since the inception of the tournament four years ago.
Smith starred with both bat and ball, scoring an explosive 71 and took three wickets as Barbados defeated Trinidad and Tobago reserves by 77 runs in a practice match on Thursday.
“He has a positive effect on the team and he has emerged as the man in charge and the man to take us forward” declared Best, 31.
“He is our most experienced T20 player, having played all over the world, and he knows the ins and outs of the game. He can win it for you with bat, with ball and in the field.”
Barbados’s best showing was back in 2010 when they reached the Final but lost to Guyana in the last over.
Last year, the Bajans’ attempt to be the region’s top T20 team was stopped on account of a heartbreaking semi defeat against Trinidad and Tobago.
“Last year it was going well for us but we faltered. Looking at our squad this year, we think we are one of the best teams in this tournament” said Best.
“We are really happy with the new format – you get to meet everyone in the preliminaries and then the top team moves to the final with the second-placed and third-placed teams moving to the play-off”.
Barbados clash with the Leeward Islands in their opening match of the tournament on Monday afternoon at Queen’s Park Oval.
Best says his team is determined to win since it could be the last time they play as Barbados in the Caribbean T20 following the launch of the Caribbean Premier League.
“This is a massively important event for us. As a senior player it is a big thing for me” Best said.
“We have some senior players in our dressing room who can do the business and we also have some young players who are so eager to get out there and prove their worth. The desire is there, there is no doubt about that.”